Top innovations and great inventions are historically masculine. A review on greatest women innovators reveals a few famous names and for some reasons Mother Teresa crossed my mind; the mention of her name resonates in my head as the mother of charity and notably. There is no invention to link her to, but her charity missions irrefutably put her in the rank of world’s greatest women. Temple Grandin, Margaret Thatcher, Amelia Earhart, I could also mention Martha Graham as if she invented dance assuming people never danced before but her innovations in physical expression forever changed the dance world, at the Top of my list is Marie Curie; the first female winner of the Nobel Prize in 1903 (she won it twice in both physics and chemistry), Curie was a pioneering physicist and chemist who is known for her breakthrough ideas in radioactivity, her discovery of two elements and a myriad more infamous names linked to weak innovative inventions. Judging me for using the word weak whilst I have no strong innovative idea attached to my name will be an insult to humanity, my definition and context of the word ‘weak’ is relative depending on how crude you perceive it.
‘Top innovations and great inventions are historically masculine’, I don’t intend to degrade or insult feminism because I am a born masculine feminist, the least expected is my obvious intention. In the next generation I want my name to be mentioned among the greatest individuals who did the least to inspire, encourage and motivate women especially the African woman to grab stakes in the ever growing ICT and entrepreneurship industry, my efforts won’t be for nothing, I deserve an appreciation if not an award. The current generation has managed to semi-successfully give women around the world a reason of purpose to take part in competitive innovative programs through women empowerment and mentoring forums, funding women oriented projects, facilitating women creative ideas among others. Access to Innovation Hubs across the world has also promoted creativity beyond ideas to the implementation stage, this kind of advancement is attributed to women who have seen the need and value of being part of an ever advancing world; you can only know the world is technologically advancing if you have a clear vision of the future.
Over the next few years, technology jobs that require a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM), are expected to grow twice as fast as non-STEM jobs. While the demand for this workforce is growing, women are a significantly under-utilized resource. According to Maryam Mgonja, the Co-Hub Manager at BUNI Innovation Community, ‘The reasons and causes for the low participation of women in STEM fields are varied. Many of them start during early middle school years due to misperceptions and the need to fit in or be cool’. She further asserts that in her position as a hub manager in a country that is struggling to make Science and Technology relevant to women amidst various concerns of social inclusion and exclusion, she has used the BUNI Community and Innovation Hub to steer a girl targeted program ‘Buni Ladies Community’ together with her Partner Elizabeth Mabelya a Coordinator of the program, their aim is to empower both school going girls and women in the ICT market to discover the opportunities presented by STEM. They feel the real African woman should not be left out, and intend to beat ‘it’s a masculine thing’ perception of actually coming up with tangible inventions and visible innovations powered by females,
It’s very important to note that, I am not of the opinion that the majority of women have no clear vision of the future but it will be fair enough to assume that more men bring their tech visions to reality as compared to the number of women in the tech industry, that is why men paint the whole innovation industry masculine; Leonardo Da Vinci, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Galileo Galilei, Thomas Edison, Alexander Bell, the list is endless. Feminist extremists will blame the society for the blind-spot on unequal abilities’’ the same group of extremist will come out hard fighting for gender equality which makes me wonder if gender equality was to heed to their constant grievances and weep, will they still blame the society for being what it is. The society does not make men innovative, let’s have it as, so much hype has been built around men, the hype which only acknowledges men is a downfall to development, and the feeling of masculine dominance creates an inferiority complex in women, which in return make most women to look at their great ideas as weak ideas however strong. The new generation of women have already set pace for the next generation women, over the years women have been encouraged to come out stronger than men, the Twenty first century woman has responded to that call notably all over the world, it is time for stakeholders and companies in the ICT sector to replenish skills, develop HR and reinforce women ability to compete with men in the global market.
In a report, ‘Investigating technology, gender and empowerment; African Women and ICTs’, edited by Buskens & Webb, they note that the ‘ICT policy is currently being made and implemented all over Africa, but the authors argue that this is happening mostly in the absence of clear knowledge about the ways gender inequality and ICTs are impacting each other and that by becoming alerted to a gender dimension in ICT developments at an early stage of the information revolution, we may be able to prevent greater scaled undesirable effects in the future’. There is a greater need now than ever before to empower women to come up with ideas that can be solutions to global problems BUNI Innovation Hub is committed to being part of the solution as a Tech Hub and an Entrepreneurship Community that realizes the need for more women to be involved in practical innovative projects. Startups are encouraged not to concentrate on existing technology, rationalizing out of the box and beyond the box mentality will promote a culture of innovation which will automatically gear the present corporate ecosystem.